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The Conclave Begins: Picking A Pope

The cardinals sit down in Rome. The conclave begins. We look at the politics and prayer of choosing a new pope.

From left, US Cardinals Justin Francis Rigali, Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger Mahony leave the North American College to go to the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, Tuesday March 12, 2013. (AP)

From left, US Cardinals Justin Francis Rigali, Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger Mahony leave the North American College to go to the Vatican’s Domus Sanctae Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, Tuesday March 12, 2013. (AP)

Today it’s on.  The cardinals in their conclave in the Vatican in Rome.  In the Sistine Chapel, no less, where Michelangelo’s painted vision of God reaches out on the ceiling to touch the hand of mortal man.

The cardinals gathered to choose a pope.  It has been a fraught month for the Catholic Church.  The first pope in centuries to step aside alive.  A swirl of scandal around the Vatican and beyond.  Deep issues still for devout Catholics and for doubters.

This hour, On Point:  at the intersection of history, politics and prayer, we look at the cardinals in their conclave in Rome.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rachel Donadio, Rome bureau chief for the New York Times. (@racheldonadio)

Thomas Reese, Jesuit priest and director of the Religion and Public Policy Program at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. (@thomasreesesj)

Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter. (@dcoday)

Kathleen Cummings, associate Professor of American Studies and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “The Sistine Chapel is ready. The new pope’s clothes are laid out. Now it’s up to the cardinals. The work to elect a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI begins in earnest Tuesday, with a morning Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The service — open to the public — will be the last public event featuring the 115 cardinals who will choose the new spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.”

National Catholic Reporter “As has been well reported by Joshua McElwee and John Allen, there are currently no frontrunners in the papal election. This could easily change in the next few days before the conclave starts, but it is surprising granted that it has been almost three weeks since Pope Emeritus Benedict announced his resignation. One would think that at least a couple of frontrunners would have surfaced by now.”

The Washington Post “The cardinals could pick a pope on the very first ballot on the first afternoon of the conclave, though that would be surprising; in recent conclaves, popes have been selected after at least two days of balloting.”

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  • Shag_Wevera

    LET THE ANTI-CATHOLIC BIGOTRY BEGIN!!!

    Welcome to those who:  Don’t believe in God, don’t agree with the Catholic faith, and want to impune every Catholic for the criminal behavior of few…

    • StilllHere

      Well it’s been almost a week since they last had a chance to spread their bitter vitriol.

    • gemli

      Thank you for the welcome.  But in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not anti-Catholic.  I despair for all religions equally.  I’m anti-gullible, anti-credulous, and strongly opposed to institutionalized ignorance.  I don’t blame Catholics for the crimes of pederasts, but they should realize that their support for an institution that attracts sexually immature or repressed men has allowed this behavior to flourish.  But mostly I’m opposed to religion because not a single word of it is true.  Aside from a few enlightened platitudes about being nice to other people, the foundation of all religion is magic and superstition.  I can’t get excited over the election of a new head magician.  

      • Shag_Wevera

        So you:  Don’t believe in God, disagree with the Catholic faith, and at least partially blame Catholics for the dispicable behavior of a few.

        • gemli

          I don’t blame anyone.  I went through Catholic school for 9 years, and I can’t blame anyone for believing what the nuns and priests were telling us.  We were just kids.  We had no critical thinking skills, we didn’t know how the world really worked, and we were at that developmental stage where we believed what adults told us.  They taught us arithmetic, reading, religion, spelling, history…it was all good.  But I had a passion for wanting to know how things worked, and by third grade I was wondering what on earth they were teaching us.  It didn’t make sense, all the invisible worlds, the supernatural beings, the miracles.  Later, we found out that there were other religions, where kids were learning very different things.  Those kids were believing what their priests were telling them.  Seems it didn’t matter if it was true, it only mattered what you were taught.  Culturally, I still relate to Catholicism.  I like the hymns, the literature of the bible, and the holidays.  I have no trouble with the people who might be devoted Catholics.  For God’s sake, they were just kids, like me.  Once you see that it’s not real, you can’t un-see it.  It hurts to know that so many people are mired in superstition, and that children are being hurt emotionally, and sometimes physically.  They’re just kids, and they need our protection.  The selection of a pope is not something to rejoice about.  It just highlights how far we still have to go.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Shag. You sound as intolerant as those to whom your hurl your accusations. 

      I’d never cross the aisle from a being a non-believer to a believer but I don’t disparage those who find comfort and solace in religion.

      What you, and many Catholic true-believers have to do is advocate the kind of reform that the institution must undergo before it gets worse, or stumbles down a path of utter irrelevance.  

      • LinRP

        ” …stumbles down a path of utter irrelevance.”

        They have slid down that rabbit hole at warp speed.

  • Ed75

    High wire politics? Much more a devout, prayerful decision.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I think the process is interesting.  The setting is fabulous….the secrecy is appropriate too!  I was raised Catholic but attend Quaker meeting for worship from time to time.  You can really feel the spirit moving among the people at a Quaker meeting.  I imagine the same is true at a conclave.  Despite the bitterness of some I believe there is still that of the divine in the world…and I believe that divinity is at work in a conclave.

  • Ed75

    The pope can’t make up his own teaching, and he can’t change church doctrine, which is handed down to him. So many issues that are mentioned, including women priests, or contraception, are not even possible, no matter who is elected.

    The pope isn’t the head of the Church -he is the vicar of Christ, as Pope Benedict said in resigning, the supreme shepherd and head of the Church is Jesus Christ. The pope is, as it were, his prime minister, a pattern that can be seen in the court of Solomon.

    • Ray in VT

      One historical criticism of the Church has been, though, that some elements of Church doctrine are not supported, at least in the view of some, by the Bible.  For instance, on the issue of the ordination of women, if

      “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

      then could that not be a scriptural basis for the inclusion of women in the clergy.  Certainly the Church is entitled to its view of the inherent weakness of the fairer sex (that may not be the best characterization) spiritually, but is this a case where perhaps tradition could be seen to be trumping scripture to the detriment of the Church?

      • Ed75

        Well, in the Church the Bible isn’t the only source of authority, there is also Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium. They work together and support each other. (For example, Sacred Tradition produced the Bible, and the Magisterium gives us the authoritative interpretation of the Bible.)

        In John Paul’s letter on women’s ordination he said that he found no basis in Scripture or elsewhere on which to rest women’s ordination (the priests in the Old Testament are all male, Mary was not ordained, etc.) Your quote is good, but has to be taken in light of other parts of Scripture. (It’s also not that women are not as capable spiritually in any way, but that it’s not God’s will that they work in this ministry.) Three popes have written on it, and given the authority and ordinary infallibility of the pope on matters of faith, it has now been elevated to a doctrine and a closed question.

        • Wahoo_wa

          Some point to the fact that women were the first to know of and spread the word of the resurrection of Christ.  Women were also present at the Pentecost.  That will be the counter argument to your point.  I am not advocating either position really…just presenting the arguments.  It’s an interesting topic.

          One could also say the continuing revelations of God through the decisions of God’s people could add to the traditions and  policies of the church.

        • Ray in VT

          Thanks, Ed.  What do you think about the possibility of ending clerical celibacy?  That gets kicked around from time to time by some, and that could perhaps be a way to ease the problem that the Church is having attracting new members of the clergy.

          • Wahoo_wa

            1 Timothy 3:2 has something to say about that.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that part of the argument goes that, a bit like a starship captain, a member of the clergy is married to the Church, in a manner of speaking.

          • Wahoo_wa

            It’s all in the interpretation!  LOL
            (Like so many other religious ideas)

          • Ray in VT

            Pshaw.  Interpretation, schminterpretation.  It should all be straight literalism.  Just like Bart said of the hymn “In the Garden of Eden”:  “Straight from God’s brain to your mouth.”

          • Wahoo_wa

            That would be an interpretation.

          • Ed75

            Clerical celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine. Some of the eastern Catholic rites allow married clergy. There are theological reasons for it, but it’s only a discipline. I have no idea of it’s chance of being implemented, there are pros and cons, in any case it would optional, of course, and many priests would still choose to remain celibate, as they did in the early Church.

          • Wahoo_wa

            …and it should be noted that married Episcopal priests who convert to Catholicism are allowed to maintain their marriage if they choose the Catholic priesthood.

          • Ray in VT

            But they must be celibate, correct?

          • Wahoo_wa

            That I don’t know.  It is my understanding that celibacy of the priesthood in the Catholic Church evolved because priests were barred from sex the night prior to celebrating Mass.  Mass was performed on the Sabbath only at that time.  As Mass evolved to be celebrated on a daily basis it made it difficult (impossible) to perform one’s marital duty.  I also understand that the Church did not want property to be inherited by the children of priest but rather the Church itself.  Disallowing marriage promoted that position.  I could certainly be wrong about both of these but they are my current understanding.

          • Ed75

            Yes, since celibacy is a discipline it can be dispensed (waived) in specific cases, as in these. But if the wife of one of these priests dies, he can’t remarry.

          • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

            You mean like the marriages clergy were allowed to have up until the 1100′s?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I might not go so far as to say allowed in the sense that it was accepted.  Perhaps tolerated would be better, at least until the Gregorian Reforms.  But yes, it was certainly practiced, at least in some parts of the West, up to that point.  Some Popes were married, although perhaps celibate after their elevation to the Papacy prior to that time, and there are certainly cases like Alexander VI, who continued to dabble (if you will), I think, after becoming Pope.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Again, 1 Timothy 3:2 refutes this and in fact promotes the idea that a bishop should be married (to one woman).

        • sickofthechit

          Haven’t we had at least three popes who have done essentially nothing about molestation by priests?  So molestation is a doctorine of the church.  That explains a lot.

      • Wahoo_wa

        The counter argument to that is that Jesus selected only 12 men and no women to become his apostles and spread his ministry. 

  • RolloMartins

    Smartest thing the cardinals could do is to pick a non-cardinal. All the cardinals have been picked by very conservative John Paul II or Benedict. To exorcise the demons of the sex scandals they need to elect someone unbesmirchable, say archbishop Martin of Dublin.  That would shake things up.

    • Wahoo_wa

      That would be interesting….technically any Catholic male is eligible for the Pontificate.  One does not need to be a member of the clergy to be elected to the office.

      • northeaster17

        Is Charlie Sheen Catholic? Just wondering.

        • Wahoo_wa

          His dad is a Catholic.

      • Ed75

        A man who is unmarried …

        • Wahoo_wa

          Well that’s not entirely supported by scripture.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Can the papacy survive the pedophilia coverup?

    How can the new pope speak with any authority at all when under the watch of AT LEAST the last two popes
    - the lives of thousands upon thousands of children were ruined by the acts of many pedophile priests all around the world,
    - they clearly did not shut it down this criminal behavior immediately, which is hard to believe that they did not have the power to do,
    - they reportedly tried to cover up the problem and their involvement,
    - and they reportedly employed coercion to do so.

    Can faith in any man elevated to this position be restored?
    These are not the acts of divine inspiration.
    These are the acts of consummate politicians.
    How can this seat reflect any divine authority whatsoever?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OH7YTOPBQEQXO5PU2JSKS2R27Q Andy of the North

      To me this is the key issue.  The Catholic church needs to address and deal with this scandal fully, and act contrite about the whole thing.  The massive church beureaucracy  covered it up for decades, impacting the lives of countless children. 

      They should be ashamed at how this was handled and should vocally and vigorously work to ensure that the abuse has been completely excised from the Church and that it will never happen again.

    • notafeminista

      Well, you can always hope.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    This topic ranks somewhat below Beyonce’s latest wardrobe and sarah palin’s future plans on my priorities list.

    • Wahoo_wa

      It would.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Who’s gonna perform at halftime?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          My money is on Jesus Christ, Superstar.

          Or Buddy Christ.

          Wait, is gambling still a sin?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            BoyzIImen?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I find that funny but you gotta admit its pretty rough. You probably just made somebody’s head explode.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I know, sorry.

    • Ray in VT

      In terms of my interest on a personal level, I would put it somewhere below how shaky the Red Sox lineup is this season, but as an observer of history and politics, this is a pretty big deal.  This will only be the third Pope in my lifetime, and the Church, for good or ill or sometimes both or depending upon one’s perspective, has a great deal of sway in parts of the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    I heard a cardinal this morning say something like, “We need a pope that will address the church’s problems.” Perhaps they should start with the problem of running an institution whose entire foundation rests on the worship of an imaginary being.

    Personally, my only interest here is entertainment value. Therefore: Black pope! Black pope! Black pope! It will drive the religious nuts in the US absolutely crazy.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Oh geez…even the intro is filled with vitriol!

    • Ray in VT

      Interesting.  I don’t see, or hear, that at all.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    The one thing that many Catholics seem to cling to is the long tradition and steadfastness of the institution.  Its conservatism is its foundation. 

    It’s unfortunate that this very conservatism keeps the papacy from being able to deal with their most pressing problems…and, god-forbid, being relevant in today’s world.  

  • DrewInGeorgia

    They get a Faraday cage??? Why do those who have a “Direct Line To God” even need electronic devices? And why are they voting? Can’t God just choose the most appropriate candidate, miracle him into Pope-ship, and flood the sky with white smoke?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    I’m sorry but all I see is a bunch of old white men continuing to dictate the will of their version of God.

    • Wahoo_wa

      The cardinals come from 66 nations!  It’s not just “white guys”.  …and besides it’s not like ALL WHITE guys in ALL NATIONS have the EXACT SAME perspective!

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Sorry, guess I should have just said old men. I don’t see many ‘ethnic’ looking men in the group though. The operative word is still “men” regardless.

        http://onpoint.wbur.org/files/2013/03/APCARDINALS1000-500×333.jpg

        • Wahoo_wa

          But even so, not all men have the same perspective.  I hardly think Ashbrook and I have many opinions in common.  Your point is very narrow minded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631791436 Suz Carter

    AWESOME NEAR-SLIP:  Welcome to On Pope, LOL

  • Ed75

    How beautiful and joyful is the Church!

    • JGC

      I am a fallen Catholic, Ed, but this is your week, and also for your fellow faithful.  I hope you enjoy it!  ;)

      • Dana85

        A fallen Catholic (or fallen follower of any religion or belief held on insufficient or against contrary evidence) is a risen intellect.

        • notafeminista

          Tsk, the favorite quote from atheists is that one cannot prove a negative.  You haven’t any contrary evidence.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that there is any reason why a believer is dumber than an atheist or agnostic, although this study shows something to that effect:

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289608001013

            There are plenty of highly intelligent religious people, but if one’s faith causes one to deny observable facts in favor of dogmatic belief, then it certainly does cause me to doubt one’s intellect.

          • notafeminista

            Hasn’t stopped the environmentalists.

          • Ray in VT

            I was specifically thinking of Francis Collins.  He rejects Intelligent Design, and he doesn’t go about talking about how God makes hurricanes hit places because of gay pride parades.  I don’t much care about his personal faith, as it seems not to bias him against evidence and research in his scientific endeavors.

            At least many of those supporting efforts regarding environmental concerns can produce some valid science relating to the harmful outcomes of some of the types of activities that they are proposing, whereas the opposition seems to be mostly fueled by industry money and science denying think tanks, which seem to push mostly doubt.

            One should merely call a spade a spade.  If one advances notions regarding the natural world that are wholly unsubstantiated by available evidence, then one’s intellect, or at the very least one’s judgement, should be roundly questioned.  For instance, based upon carbon dating, which is sound science, if one thinks that the world is only 6,000-10,000 years old, then I think that that person is just plain cracked.

          • Dana85

            The good doctor’s
            untenable position gets hanged, drawn and quartered here. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy by a smarter guy.

          • Dana85

            That study compliments and confirms the studies and
            surveys compiled here
            most striking among which is the survey in Nature showing almost all leading scientist with no
            use for the god(s) hypothesis(es). The stragglers who remain probably didn’t think it through would appear to the most likely explanation for the anomaly.

      • Ed75

        Maybe this is the time for you to come home!

  • Ed75

    The pope is more than the head of the college of bishops. But all we want is a holy person primarily, who will do the will of God, that’s all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631791436 Suz Carter

    If Jesus with an MBA were located and elected, would the Church reorg into “product line” and “staff” positions?  Or more like a government.  I’m having a hard time picturing how one soul can pull off this kind of reorg – even if he “hires the right people.” 

    • notafeminista

      One expects the list of things you “have a hard time picturing” would be significant.

      • Ray in VT

        The same could be said about one who pops in to drop a few snarky one liners that insult people without provocation, and, when challenged on a point, can offer no constructive or substantial points on the topic at hand.

        • notafeminista

          Fair enough.  What point is it you wish to challenge me on?

          • Ray in VT

            Nothing on this one.  I’m just questioning your apparent need or desire to be a jerk to people.  Past examples though would include my request that you provide a specific quote from Joe Biden about how the war on terror was lost and that we should give up, or something to that effect, and I also believe that I challenged you to provide the names of some actual communists that Tailgunner Joe’s witchhunt actually discovered, and I believe that you provided a link to activities that occurred years prior to his deplorable actions.  Those are the couple of specific ones that come to mind.

          • notafeminista

            I see.  Well, vitriol is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. Incidentally it was Senator Harry Reid who said the war on terror was lost, not VP Joe Biden

          • Ray in VT

            I stand corrected.  Do you have a quote for Senator Reid?  I believe that when I previously asked you if you had one you responded “nope”.

            Pray tell me, then, how is a statement such as this:

            One expects the list of things you “have a hard time picturing” would be significant.

            Which seems to come out of the blue to someone who hasn’t posted on here in some two months, who is asking, I think, some pretty valid questions regarding what is being asked of one man not vitriolic?  It’s insulting.  I mean, why even bother?

          • notafeminista

            Oh, I suppose because it came slightly above my interest in the Red Sox lineup.   

          • Ray in VT

            So if I have low interest in something, then does that give me free reign to insult people here without provocation?

          • Dana85

            Notice how the quality of discourse from a troll does not improve with feeding?

          • notafeminista

            Still waiting for your contrary evidence.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps I feed some of them because I do hope to improve the quality of discourse.  At least I hope to get people to use actual quotes when they say that someone said something.

        • Dana85

          Ray, a serenely polite definition of troll. I admire your restraint.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you.

  • sickofthechit

    Do none of these guests or the host realize that the Cardinals can vote for someone to be Pope who is not a Cardinal?  Wake up!
    charles a. bowsher

  • Scott B

    I’m not religious, let alone Catholic, but if someone’s going to be the leader or 1.2 Billion people, it’d be nice if they found someone that had the ability to to think like someone born after the invention of the automobile instead of the wheel.

    • stephenreal

      Well they we’re the first to discover DNA, create the scientific method and measure the mountains on the moons along with the corny side of the church of course.

    • notafeminista

      No need to worry your pretty  head over things you cannot possibly comprehend.

  • sickofthechit

    Dolan does not get my vote because it took prompting from Bob Shieffer to get him to even acknowledge that the sex abuse scandals were something important for the next Pope to deal with.  Shieffer asked him what he thought were the most important things the new Pope needed to deal with and Dolan rattled off like six things and dealing with the sex scandal was not even in his top six.  He looks like more of the same to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dane.wolf.3 Dane Wolf

    Hey, Tom,

    As opposed to the last time you had a show relating to Catholicism, I hope you can maintain a more OBJECTIVE analysis today!  Remember:  even though roughly one out of six people in the world identify with the Catholic church, that doesn’t mean that we should bend over backwards assuming, for example, that “The Holy Spirit” is somehow an active force in real events.  Unless you are ready to give equal credence to all the vague, mystical notions of all the other religions in the world, you should stop setting up a false equivalency between dogma and down-to-earth reality.  Try to keep in mind that it is simply NOT FAIR to the other five out of six people on the planet to assume that the often outdated presuppositions of the Catholic church apply to everyone!

     

     

  • sickofthechit

    I’ll tell you who gets my vote.  That would be my cousin Father Larry Dunham a Franciscan Friar (now a Precept {equivalent to Bishop}).  He would be a fantastic Pope, might even result in my returning to the church. cousin charles

  • Ed75

    Pope John Paul didn’t listen? Pope Benedict didn’t listen? (We don’t need dissident theologians, we’ve heard enough from them.)

  • Ed75

    Catholicism, as Pope Benedict also said, is one large Yes.

  • J__o__h__n

    It is going to be Pope Ed LXXV.

  • Ed75

    The Italians love Cardinal Dolan.

  • Ed75

    Pope Benedict removed hundreds of priests.

  • sickofthechit

    I really liked last weeks Daily Shows segment on this with Samantha B. who explained what happens in the Conclave; “A Grope of Cardinals perform The Molestation”.  I almost cried from laughing so hard.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       If John Stewart had done the equivalent to Islam there would be riots in the street and calls for his death.

  • J__o__h__n

    My prediction is that they want an Italian Pope, but if they can’t get the votes, they will get one from South American to prevent one from the United States.  It will be a conservative as John Paul II and Ratzinger stacked the deck. 

    • JGC

      You called it!  A South American (Argentinian) who has two parents who immigrated to Argentina from Italy…Jesuit, yet very conservative. Good call.

  • Ed75

    Many administrative positions in the church are held by women.

  • stephenreal

    An American Pope would be good for Rome, and for their tourist industry, hands down. If it was purely an economic question it seems to me that Rome would have zero issue with an American pope.

    Pope Dolan is good for business. (in my opinion)

  • http://twitter.com/JasonLacoste Jason Lacoste

    Sounds like superficial party politics to me. Trying to figure out a message that resonates with their base. Seeking a leader to energize their constituents. Even the original platform has been mangled and cherry picked.

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the Abrahamic religions are obsolete?

    • stephenreal

      No, because we are surrounded, in the terms of thousands of miles, by Western and Christian philosophy, ethics, morality and laws. It seems even more relevant then ever.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/2FMDO2HG4GX7EGKCG7AIVTQOAM donald s

         Very little relevance, unless you count the viciousness, lack of morality and archaic “laws” connected a philosophy based on myth and superficiality.

        • notafeminista

          Off topic.  Environmentalism was yesterday.

        • stephenreal

          The West is deeply influenced by it’s own history and to deny that history is a mistake in my opinion. So what you think of as “archaic ‘laws’ connected (to) a philosophy” as some sort of Napoleonic decree written in stone is rather a living law that changes as our times and language change with it. Everything is deeply connected as as opposed to disconnected laws from community as it where in your muse.

          And to suggest that there is or is not some sort of über spirit based in “myth and superficiality” denies quantum physics and the theory of location and dislocation inside a quantum entanglement. If you can get your head wrapped around that. You would realize just how profoundly interconnected we all are, and our place in this universe, and just how much we don’t know.

  • hennorama

    Meh.

  • jer_dna

    The Church is more than a collection of problems and
    scandals.  Why don’t you point out some
    of the good the Church has done throughout the centuries and how society as a
    whole has benefitted?  Tell the story of
    past Popes who were holy and courageous people. 
    Ah, but that’s boring, not entertaining. 
    It’s much more exciting to bash the Church and call it irrelevant and
    see it wither.  Be careful what you wish
    for–the Church may wither to the point that it’s no longer cool to bash
    it.  I know the Holy Spirit is watching
    over it and will not let it perish.  The
    Church may be reduced, but then it will rise again stronger than before.  God chooses the lowly and weak to accomplish
    some extraordinary things.  Jesus himself
    was reduced to waste, hanging on a cross, but then … 

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/SolarHartland Chuck Fenton

       It’s the women on the Church who have done the good works. The men just like to sit back and take the credit (while parading around in clown costumes).

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Your comment is incredibly ignorant and obnoxious.

    • brettearle

      How do you know that the Holy Spirit isn’t as noticeably displeased, currently, with the Church, as some of the Holy Spirit’s Followers are?

      • notafeminista

        We don’t know with what the Holy Spirit is pleased or displeased.  We’re not meant to know. 

        • brettearle

          I didn’t say we knew.

          I was simply speculating on what the Holy Spirit feels.

          For millions, it is not necessarily a sin to speculate.

          Apparently, you may feel that it is a sin to speculate.

          My strong guess is that the Church can, and does, run astray of the Holy Spirit.

          It may very well be that the Holy Spirit expects mankind to clean up its own House.

          We, therefore, NEED to speculate.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2FMDO2HG4GX7EGKCG7AIVTQOAM donald s

    Sound and fury, signifying nothing. Selecting a man to lead the delusional back into superstition and mythology on behalf of a “god” that doesn’t exist. 

    • notafeminista

      A statement you are expecting people to accept on what exactly….faith?

    • brettearle

      Thank you for trying to attract attention, simply for the sake of trying to attracting attention.

  • http://twitter.com/ecscherer E C Scherer

    The opennesss and “yes” approach that Fr. Reese spoke of as being needed in RC leadership is simply not permitted; theological examination is not permitted (theologians are excommunicated); RC leadership has no examination of self; women are stilled viewed as inferior to the rest of the human race(nuns excommunicated). It will not be permitted with a new pope as the 115 cardinals were appointed by either bxvl and jpll, many of whom are opus dei and/or regnum christi. The traditionalist and orthodox reign, ‘tho if the RC is to be an open and positive force in the world they need be reined from being so authoritarian, exclusive and holier than the rest of us.

    • notafeminista

      How do you manage to so significantly miss the point?

  • Kszymczak

    We keep talking about being more positive about Jesus, message
    that’s one of the reason for the Vatican II.  Unfortunately, we have cardinals who were afraid of change they wanted to go backward to a time that never existed.  Vatican ll documents were a sample of hope for many of us in the church  but the clergy don’t understand.  

  • Thinking

    With the suggestions of back stabbing, power plays, etc, this sounds more like the mafia than a church.

  • Sherif Ghobrial

    While the Catholic Papal election process is the news of the
    day, please take a moment to compare and contrast this process with the recent
    Coptic Orthodox Papal Election.  The Coptic Papal Election consisted of
    Bishops putting forth a dozen or so, capable, available, and willing candidates
    to a vote by thousands of clergy and congregation.  After three days of
    church-wide fasting and prayer, a young blindfolded child picks from the top
    three vote-getters from an alter bowl during a televised, open liturgy. 
    When the child picks the same candidate three times it is considered divine
    guidance and the Pope is elected.

     

    Very different from the Catholic process initiated today.

     

    Thank you.

  • JGC

    Black smoke above the Vatican…OK, then, nothing more to see here. Move along, move along. You, too, Sunshine. Move along..

  • JGC

    The tiny home town of La Motte, Québec has been besieged by dozens of journalists, hoping to document local reaction to the possible elevation of homeboy Cardinal Marc Ouellette to the most exalted earthly office of the Catholic Church.  Locals fear it may all just be a pope dream…

    • Ray in VT

      That place is a boom town.  From 2006 to 2011 the population went up by 15.7% according to Wikipedia.  With all of this media there they might break 500 people.

  • JGC

    Rumor has it that the first ballot resulted in a 115-way tie…

  • Dana85

    Torture, burning alive at the stake, drowning of “heretics” and “witches” (women and children); backing of wars; collusion with and support of absolute rulers, tyrants and despots of all stripes including the dictators of Latin America, Africa and European fascism -Hitler, Mussolini (who granted the Church the Vatican) and Franco; continual worldwide sabotage of birth control efforts; brainwashing hundreds of millions of children with nonsense including a warped view of (homo)sexuality and other aspects of life and death which continues to plague them long into adulthood; undermining the fight against AIDS in Africa by prohibiting condom use and the carrying out, enabling, and cover-up world wide of thousands of instances of child rape, prosecution from which the upper hierarchy including Ratzinger retain immunity to this day.

    The Roman Catholic Church is the worlds longest running crime syndicate in the guise of the holiest holders of the sole key to the salvation of humanity. Based on the myth of a god who has himself born (by parthenogenesis no less) as his son. Who then sacrifices himself to himself to save from himself those who believe this story.

    And here we are in the 21st century in front of our HD LCD screens with vehicles riding around on the planet Mars and not once can Mr. Ashbrook bring himself to even once hint at questioning the validity of history’s longest running most obvious medieval con-jobs. Moreover he stocks the panel of today’s show exclusively with catholic proxies, not even bothering to uphold the usual NPR facade of impartiality of inviting guests on opposing sides of an issue.

    • notafeminista

      Well.  Except for the Communists.  How many starved to death at the hands of Uncle Joe?  And rumor has it that inflation in Venezuela is running above 20%.  Supposedly you can get a good doctor in Cuba, but don’t disagree with the government or you’ll not be heard from again.

    • Josef1

       Is it just the Catholic Church you dislike or is it all religion? It seems to me all religions have rather dark pasts but to say, its the longest running crime syndicate is rather insulting to the 1 billion Catholics.

      • Dana85

        If Catholics were to face up to instead of remaining in denial or willfully ignorant of the infamy and inanity, which continues to this day, of the cult they enable by their allegiance to it they would have no reason to be insulted – they would no longer be Catholics. 

        Would you be as concerned about, say, Muslims being “insulted” by having it pointed out to them that at least half of the “holy” handbook of their “religion of peace”, the Koran, consists of the most savage urgings of brutal violence upon “unbelievers” in this world and the scourge of hell fire and depraved torture in the hereafter; urgings, which inspired 9/11 amongst similar activities?

  • Ardengal

    I have been trying to find the answer to this question: In what language do cardinals communicate? Are there translators in the conclave? 

    • Ray in VT

      I figured that they would all be fluent in Latin, but perhaps that is not the case.

    • Ed75

      Cardinal George said that he would speak Spanish with the cardinal next to him, and German with the cardinal on his other side. But in the conclave itself there is no talking, just announcements to guide the voting process, which would be done in Latin.

  • notafeminista

    For Ray in VT:

    1)Your quote, sir http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-2709229.html

    2)Your question was, “If I have low interest in something, that gives me free reign to insult people here without provocation?”

    It’s already happened.  The initial post made sure that the forum knew just how disinterested you were, but that for people “in some parts of the world”  (to what or where you referring one can only imagine) it was still a big deal both to historians and the faithful (in some parts of the world).

    • Ray in VT

      1.  I figured that that was the was what you were after, however, it does not fit what was said during that conversation.

      William said: In April 2012 the US State Dept. said the war on terror was over.

      I asked: When did the State Department issue a statement saying that the war on
      terror was over?  I must have missed that one.  Did the Secretary of
      State or some other top official say that?

      You replied: Senator Reid said not only over, but that we lost.  Why are we still bothering?

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/02/11/drone-strikes

      So, then, are you admitting that Senator Reid did not in fact say that the war on terror was lost, seeing as how he was talking about the war in Iraq, which was only dubiously tied to the war on terror.

      2.  My entire comment was:

      In terms of my interest on a personal level, I would put it somewhere
      below how shaky the Red Sox lineup is this season, but as an observer of
      history and politics, this is a pretty big deal.  This will only be the
      third Pope in my lifetime, and the Church, for good or ill or sometimes
      both or depending upon one’s perspective, has a great deal of sway in
      parts of the world.

      Is that somehow an insult or an attack in your book, merely because, as a non-Catholic, whomever the Conclave chooses will have little effect on my life personally, which was what I was referring to regarding “my interest on a personal level”.  I then went on to say that the event is kindof a big deal.  Did you not bother to look at the very interesting exchange the Ed, wahoo and I had regarding Church history and theology early on in the day, where we all raised issues and points without anyone getting their features ruffled?

      So please allow me to use one of your statements considering my current interest and the general tenor of your comments here:  “to what or where you referring one can only imagine”, well “one expects the list of things you “have a hard time picturing (or perhaps imagining)” would be significant.”

      • notafeminista

        To what parts of the world were you referring?

        • Ray in VT

          Certainly the Papacy is likely to have greater power in Central and South America, given that the populations there are much more heavily Catholic than the United States.  I don’t know if Pope Francisco’s country of origin would add any additional influence there.  The Church, I think, might also have a greater ability to influence policy in parts of Africa where the Church has grown rapidly in recent years.  I think that the Church’s power in those parts of the world are certainly relatively greater than in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe, where the Church is long established, and where there are many believers, but also where religious institutions have a much less overt and active role in the affairs of state.

  • 2Gary2

    Who gives a rip about this?  Please do shows that are important.

  • J__o__h__n

    Please don’t spend an entire hour on the new Pope tomorrow or devote too much time to it on Friday. 

    • JGC

      I don’t know; you may be out of luck tomorrow. I don’t know that even the Diane Rehm show will be safe harbor, with Catholic University and Georgetown University (the largest Jesuit institution in the U.S.?) in her backyard.

      • Ray in VT

        It’s kind of funny, though.  I was heading home and heard the special BBC coverage, and I tuned in and watched to see who the new Pope was when I got to the house.  Then my wife, who was also raised Catholic, started right in with the Lord’s Prayer when the translation was read.  Some of that stuff really sticks with you.

        • JGC

          Tell us about it!  

        • Dana85

          The power of indoctrination since a child’s formative years almost trumps our natural instincts. In fact for many it does seem to trump it – suicide bombing the extreme case in point.  It certainly trumps reason.  That is why it can always be found in the toolbox of those who wish to reliably subjugate entire populations to their dogma be it religious or political.

  • JGC

    Pass out the cigars and incense: It’s a pope!

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